Most of us working here at the library love to read. And some of us like to listen to our books from time to time. Here are some audiobooks we have been enjoying lately:
Pam M., Assistant Library Director –
“I am listening to 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster. It is the story of Archie Ferguson, a Jewish boy born in Newark in 1947, and tells about four different alternative futures for him. It is narrated by the author which makes the listening experience great because his voice is so believable as the voice of an older Archie. It is 29 CDs, but I don’t want it to end – – you really look forward to hearing about Archie’s parallel lives and what comes next.”
Megan, Systems Manager –
“World War Z by Max Brooks. With a cast of over 20 famous actors doing the voices, including Alan Alda, Nathan Fillion, Simon Pegg, and Jeri Ryan, it was an amazing listening experience.”
Evelyn, Readers’ Services Librarian –
“I have found an audiobook narrator that I love listening to. Bahni Turpin has narrated some wonderful YA books such as The Sun Is Also a Starand Everything, Everythingby Nicola Yoon. She is also the narrator ofThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which has won numerous awards including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. My next audiobook will be The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas which is another YA book narrated by Ms. Turpin.”
Rosemarie B., Children’s Services Librarian –
“I just finished listening to The Two Family House by Lynda Loigman. The story is about two Jewish families living in Brooklyn during the 1950’s. The narrator uses a “Jewish-Brooklyn” accent which adds to the sense of place and time. Listening to an audiobook adds an emotional dimension to a story.”
Jackie, Head of Readers’ Services –
“I just finished Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson for the Afternoon Book Discussion. The narrator truly brought the characters to life.”
Lisa J., Readers’ Services Librarian –
“I recently finished listening to The Princess Diaristby Carrie Fisher, a funny, poignant autobiography about Fisher’s early days making the first Star Wars Movie. A flawed but creative and talented person that left us too soon.”
Betty P., Reference Librarian –
“I’ll Take You There by Wally Lamb. The book is about 7 hours long. It was short and entertaining. The typical Wally lamb book concerning women’s issues.”
Sonia, Health Reference Librarian –
“Every once in a while I like to listen to one of James Patterson’s books because they have brief chapters which makes it easier to listen to them in short spurts. The one I am listening to now is The Black Book which had great reviews for its audio version. I’m enjoying it because I am suspecting almost everyone, except the hero, of being the bad guy (or girl).”
More light and fun reading for the beach. This display keeps getting bigger and better. So stop by for some entertainment at the beach, pool or just in your back yard. “Beach Reads” includes lots of popular titles that you might have missed.
Our second book display on the first floor is “Incredible True Stories”. What a fascinating collection. It has biographies of inventors and inventions, such Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers and the story of photography; tales of war heroes from George Washington, The Fly Boys, Heroes of 9/11 to Heroes Among Us; survival stories including The Envoy and The Perfect Storm; athletic feats in books such as The Perfect Mile, Triumph (Jesse Owens) and Friday Night Lights. The collection also includes books on the topics of religion, psychology and history.
The mini display is on “Elie Wiesel”, another incredible story of survival and human triumph. On the other side we have a nice selection of “Audiobooks” which make great travel companions for car trips.
Our third floor health display is “Have a Healthy and Safe Summer”which features a varied collection related to staying happy and healthy during the summer. Handouts are there for you on sun safety for infants, teaching children summer safety, weather safety, tips for safe gas grilling and more.
“To the Moon and Beyond”is the second display on the third floor. It covers the history of space exploration from unmanned flights, manned flights, landing on the moon, research on Mars, space shuttles and the Hubbell Space telescope. What a great ride!
I recently asked my coworkers to tell me about some of their favorite audiobook experiences. Here’s what I heard about audiobooks:
“A favorite book on CD was Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. It is a children’s book that revolves around a harmonica that makes its way into different hands as three intertwined stories come together. The best part of this audiobook was how it incorporated the harmonica music into the story!”
-Pam S., Reference Librarian
“I love audio books, but the three that stand out to me at the moment are:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer, & Coolidge by Amity Shales.
Unbroken is just such an amazing story, and the fact that Louie Zamperini found a way to forgive his Japanese captors is beyond amazing to me. I came to listen to this because I always knew a little bit about his story, but I wanted to learn more.
The Tenth Justice is an exciting story that kept me involved throughout the entire audio book. It’s a great, quick fiction that is great to listen to during a run (which is when I most often listen to audio books). I came to listen to this audio book after learning watching his show TV “Decoded.”
Coolidge is a very in-depth book about our 30th President. Calvin Coolidge has always interested me so I decided to listen to this while training for a marathon, and it did not disappoint.”
-Jason, Systems Librarian
“For me its a toss-up between A Man Called Oveby Fredrik Backman and The Invention of Wingsby Sue Monk Kidd. I loved a A Man Called Ove for its charm and feel good message about the importance of being a good person. The narrator has a great delivery too. The Invention of Wings was a wonderful historical fiction novel about the friendship between a wealthy Southern girl and a young slave. Having two different narrators for the characters of Handful and Sarah really add to the story and make the characters come alive.”
-Lisa J., Readers’ Services Librarian
“Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese – The story grabbed me from the beginning… and the narrator’s voice was wonderful to listen to.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Another dimension was added to the book because of the dramatic readings of the actresses narrating it. I don’t think I would have noticed it had I just been reading it.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.- I enjoyed listening to it because it was an emotional and intense read. I felt more connected to the characters listening to them.
World War Z by Max Brooks – There are multiple narrators, most of them well known actors (Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Jerry Ryan, Mark Hamill to name a few). It’s interesting because so many people are involved in this audiobook – which is a narrative about the war against zombies.”
-Stacey, Readers’ Services Librarian
“I don’t get to listen to audiobooks very frequently, but I loved A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Hailey Forsythe. Since it is written in letter format, it is perfect as an audiobook. I enjoyed it so much since it follows her life from childhood to the end. It spans so much history (from the early 1900’s to the 1960’s) and her development from an innocent girl to a courageous, confident woman.”
-Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services
“Here are 2 audiobooks:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: This audiobook was beautifully narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Her voice easily captured the language and culture of the main character’s home country, Nigeria, giving the listener an immersive experience.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: This author/narrator is a humorist and comedian so I thought it would be better to listen to the book rather than read it. I was right, with many laugh-out-loud scenes it made driving more enjoyable.”
-Rosemarie B, Children’s Services Librarian
“For me it’s two mystery series, both by the same author: M. C. Beaton‘s Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series. I started by listening to the first of each a few years ago and I’m still at it. I have read some of them in print but I enjoy them very much more in audio. I like listening to British accents and these have had every kind you could imagine. Plus they are often laugh out loud funny. I’m also enjoying listening to Robert Galbraith‘s (J. K. Rowling’s pseudonym) Cormoran Strike mystery series. The reader, Robert Glenister, makes all the characters distinctive and Rowling is proving she’s no fluke.”
-Sonia, Reference, Librarian
What are some of your favorite audiobooks? Please tell us in the comments.
Many book clubs explore various titles and different venues to add interest and excitement to the overall book discussion experience. Some groups have included book to film excursions, or theme-related activities. Another idea that may interest book clubs is to try an audiobook for their next discussion. An audiobook can provide a unique involvement for the listener. Personally, audiobooks such as The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, and The Son by Jo Nesbo have remained with me for close to a year now. I believe that if I had read these books, the characters may not have resonated in the same way.
The 20th Annual Audie Awards Gala is scheduled for May 28th in New York City. This award competition recognizes excellence in audiobook and spoken word entertainment. For the complete list of this year’s finalists, go to http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/audies/. One thing to consider is that it may be more convenient for members to choose a winner from a previous year since the audiobooks may be more accessible. If you are interested in locating previous audiobook winners, you can go to http://www.audiopub.org/audies-gala.asp. Here are some suggested audiobook titles:
& NARRATION BY THE AUTHOR One of America’s favorite comedians looks back at his extraordinary career, highlighting the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, and outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old.
2013 WINNER: SOLO NARRATION – MALE A novel that spans fifty years with the Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet, the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.
2012 WINNER: LITERARY FICTION A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years–a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.
– posted by Jean S., Readers’ Services
This article appeared in the May 2015 issue of Syosset Public Library’s newsletter, The Book Club Insider.